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The color temperature setup is not quite neat: there is a large dispersion of temperature between the levels of gray. Besides, the monitor doesn’t offer a warm temperature because most of the gray tones are too cold, 7000K and higher, even in the Warm mode.

This is a typical color gamut again, somewhat larger than sRGB in greens and smaller in reds. Of course, it cannot compare with the color gamut of the above-discussed SyncMaster 931CW.

The monitor is not as fast as the 931CW, but far faster than RTC-less models. Its response time average is 3.8 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 17.4 milliseconds on some transitions.

The level of RTC errors is lower than on the SyncMaster 931CW. The average error is 10.2%, the maximum is 60.5%. It means that RTC-provoked artifacts will be visible on some transitions.

The SyncMaster 961GW boasts a superb contrast ratio. It is never lower than 300:1 and as high as 500:1 at the maximum. That’s a very good result for a TN matrix.

Samsung’s monitors traditionally offer two sets of predefined modes. The MagicBright modes differ in contrast and brightness while MagicColor varies color saturation. Interestingly, many Samsung monitors have a quick button on the front panel for choosing a MagicBright mode but the MagicColor option is only available from the menu. Let’s see what is different in these modes.

The levels of brightness and contrast are selected quite properly in every MagicBright mode and correspond to the names of the modes. It is nice the contrast ratio is never lower than 350:1. The gamma curves have the same shape (as at the default settings) in every mode.

Dynamic contrast is also listed among MagicBright modes but it is not mentioned in the table. We can’t yet do any measurements for dynamic contrast technology in our labs.

Color reproduction does change with the MagicColor technology. It is not accurate anymore (the overall shape of the curves is the same in the Intelligent mode but they are not so high up). So, it is reasonable that this technology is hidden deep in the menu. If you prefer a very high contrast ratio and very saturated colors, you can enable it one and for all. Other people won’t ever need it.

So, if you are looking for an appealing shiny monitor with a fast matrix, you should definitely consider the SyncMaster 961GW. The only problems I can see with this model are that its color reproduction setup is somewhat sloppy and its case gets soiled just too easily.

Highs:

  • Superb exterior design
  • Fast matrix
  • Broad screen adjustment options
  • Appropriate setup of the factory-defined MagicBright modes
  • Excellent contrast ratio

Lows:

  • Easily soiled case and a glossy coating of the matrix
  • Not very accurate setup of the RTC mechanism

Recommended usage:

  • Text-based applications (documents, spreadsheets, Internet)
  • Movies and games (including those that require a fast matrix)
 
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